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HP Still Does Not Know What to Do With webOS

By - Source: The Verge | B 18 comments

HP's Chief Executive Officer has admitted the company is still unsure as to what to do with webOS.

Though HP just this week offered developers a discount on TouchPads, it seems the future of webOS is still uncertain. Newly appointed CEO Meg Whitman has said that the company is still at a loss as to what to do with webOS. Speaking to a room full of HP employees, Whitman said it's not immediately obvious what the company should do with the mobile OS it acquired last year. The Verge reports that Whitman was speaking at an all-hands meeting last night, apparently scheduled to make a decision on webOS. However, it seem the company will be putting off the decision once more.

"It's really important to me to make the right decision, not the fast decision," the Verge cites her as saying, adding that a decision on the fate of webOS would come in the next three to four weeks. Whitman said part of the reason for the delay was that she needed to first decide whether the company was going to sell or spin-off its personal systems group (the company ultimately decided to hang onto its PC business). While she offered no clue as to what her thoughts on webOS might be, Whitman did say that if HP decides to keep it, it's going to do it "in a very significant way over a multi-year period." Whitman conceded that this would be a very expensive proposition but assured assembled employees that "HP can make that bet."

The news follows HP's decision to offer webOS developers 32GB TouchPads for $150 each in an apparent attempt to keep them sweet. However, there has also been reports that HP plans to sell the OS off to the highest bidder. Reuters this week reported that the company wants to sell webOS in order to recoup some of the money it spent acquiring Palm. HP bought Palm for $1.2 billion in April of last year. At the time, HP was excited to acquire the webOS platform and then-CEO Mark Hurd was quoted as saying webOS was the reason for the purchase. Reuters this week cited sources that said Bank of America Meryll Lynch is advising the company on potential buyers. Interested parties are rumored to include Amazon, RIM, IBM, Oracle and Intel. 

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  • 4 Hide
    dogman_1234 , November 9, 2011 6:05 PM
    oh, gosh...I thought I was messed up...
  • 2 Hide
    applefairyboy , November 9, 2011 6:19 PM
    "HP Still Does Not Know What to Do With webOS"

    That makes 3 of us ;) 
  • 2 Hide
    qhoa1385 , November 9, 2011 6:22 PM
    sell it for $99!
  • -2 Hide
    belardo , November 9, 2011 6:24 PM
    This is why she gets paid the BIG BUCKS!!

    Wait... wasn't she running for office? Oh yeah, she's a tea-bagger.

    She's marginally smarter than the last moron.

    HP = no confidence.
  • -4 Hide
    DjEaZy , November 9, 2011 6:40 PM
    ... HP Still Does Not Know What to Do With webOS? Sell it to apple!!!
  • 3 Hide
    FlayerSlayer , November 9, 2011 6:41 PM
    I loved my Palm Treo. I loved my Palm Pre. I eventually had to switch to Android because there was no app support for WebOS, largely because there also was no hardware support for that absolutely garbage hunk of plastic. The OS was phenominal and I still miss it almost daily trying to use my Android handset, but Palm released it on junk equipment with no real support. HP bought it and did absolutely nothing with it, then destroyed what little confidence there was in the brand as fast as possible. Then they killed it, brought it back, killed it again, hinted that they wanted to revive it more, talked about selling it, held onto it, talked about killing it again, decided not to close that division, offered incentives to developers, and now want to kill it again, or maybe not.

    Good god! I love WebOS, but I'm wishing they'd just kill it cleanly rather than defiling the corpse month after month.
  • 0 Hide
    estebanhillcoat , November 9, 2011 6:48 PM
    "HP Still Does Not Know What to Do With HP"... give HP Apple or iOS and they ll ruine it in a month.
  • 0 Hide
    estebanhillcoat , November 9, 2011 6:53 PM
    samsung, ibm or even NINTENDO should buy WebOS. It s by far the only serious alternative to iOS. Android is pure inconsistency, fragmentation and offers a user experience that is below the first iphone standards
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 9, 2011 8:33 PM
    Nintendo could use a bump in mobile handset gaming with their portable gaming dominance is now cracking. webOS would really fit in magically considering Nintendo is (or was) big in portable gaming. They could use their powerful global brand and meld that with the promise of webOS.

    To be fair, webOS was not a failure. It didn't have the right convective ecosystem from that of HP and Palm was already running on fumes when it was conceived. HP's only innovation to add was to integrate webOS to its printers? Oh wow!

    So if Nintendo wakes up and smell the coffee they would contact Meg and make a fair offer for webOS and move that division to Seattle (or San Diego for that matter where I am ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    hrudy , November 9, 2011 9:06 PM
    The further adventures of a clueless company. Can't figure out what to do with Web OS ? Really??

    Sort of reminds me of Apple before Steve came back..
    No vision..
  • 2 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , November 9, 2011 9:14 PM
    HP Still Does Not Know What to Do With webOS

    ROFL, I nearly choked with laughter when I read the title... kind of describes what I think of the whole thing :D  Imagine HP staff sitting there for hours, staring at rows of TouchPads: "Hmm, what do we do with this $h!t?" :lol: 
  • 1 Hide
    modbus , November 10, 2011 1:00 AM
    TheCapuletHP needs to innovate. Markets are stagnant, and selling an innovative software portfolio because it's risky will not help them in the long run. If webOS doesn't help them in that regard, than something else will. But selling it at this point will result in a massive loss, and keeping it will force them to continue thinking ahead.

  • 0 Hide
    lockhrt999 , November 10, 2011 1:29 AM
    HP Still Does Not Know What to Do With webOS

    Freeware and opensource.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , November 10, 2011 3:38 AM
    Please, let's rest the webOS news for a's getting somewhat obnoxious.
  • 0 Hide
    shqtth , November 10, 2011 5:05 AM
    "It's really important to me to make the right decision, not the fast decision,"

    Is that a crack at Leo? haha
  • 0 Hide
    shqtth , November 10, 2011 5:07 AM
    License WebOS to others don't sell it. I am sure a lot of companies don't want to go to google route.

    And there is a lot of chinese companies that will put anything on their mobile devices.
  • 0 Hide
    southernshark , November 10, 2011 9:58 AM
    WebOS has no future unless they license it out to partners for a very low cost (just enough to help offset R&D). And it should be offered for free to the general public. The reason being that it will never compete with iOS or Win 8 or Android if HP is the only company using it. HP is not Apple and can not sustain its own OS.
  • 0 Hide
    gionder , November 10, 2011 11:52 AM
    I say give it to Hulk. He will smash it and then it will be awesome. Think of how thin it could be? I bet he would like a VERY resistive touch screen... So many funcionalities... When Hulk opens Iris and says "Hulk smash!" it replies "Iris scores an ace".

    Enough bull__it for now. I'd like to have all mobile OSs in one helluva powerful tablet.